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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 10:33 pm | Fair 45º


Residents Escape from Fire That Destroys Montecito Home

No apparent injuries in Cota Lane structure blaze reported around 9 p.m. Saturday

A fast-moving structure fire destroyed a home in the 400 block of Cota Lane in Montecito on Saturday night. There were no injuries reported in the blaze.

Montecito Fire Protection District spokeswoman Geri Ventura said firefighters found the single-story home fully engulfed in flames when they arrived at the scene shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday. She said downed power lines hampered the response but crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby homes.

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s Sgt. Bill Henebry was the first to arrive on the one-block street off East Valley Road, just east of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 1300 East Valley Road.

“When we got here, there were flames coming through the roof, the structure was fully engulfed and the overhead wires were arcing,” Henebry told Noozhawk. “People were running back inside to get things. We got everybody out just as fire units arrived.”

The property’s landlord declined to comment as did displaced neighbors who were waiting with their dogs just up the street. It was not known how many residents lived at the address but the American Red Cross-Santa Barbara County Chapter was assisting those affected by the fire.

A loud bang had been heard in the neighborhood around 9 p.m., but Henebry said he was unaware of any such details or whether the sound was related. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fire trucks and emergency vehicles lined Cota Lane and the eastbound lane of East Valley Road, which was blocked off by a sheriff’s deputy at Hot Springs Road.

In addition to Montecito firefighters, the Carpinteria-Summerland and Santa Barbara fire departments sent personnel to the scene. In all, Ventura said, five engines, one rescue vehicle and several command vehicles responded.

Given the powerful winds that swept Montecito earlier in the week, Ventura said the fire is a timely — although unfortunate — reminder of the importance of keeping properties clear of vegetation to allow for access and to provide defensible space in case of an emergency. She said Montecito residents can call 805.969.7762 for a free property survey by the Montecito Fire Department’s wildland fire specialists.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

A fast-moving structure fire destroyed a home in the 400 block of Cota Lane in Montecito on Saturday night. There were no injuries reported in the blaze. The cause is under investigation. (Bill Macfadyen / Noozhawk video via iPhone)

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